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Review: Spin (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre & Outspoke Productions)

November 20th, 2014


Spin, playing at Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, is a multimedia tribute to feminism and cycling

It was certainly worth the effort—braving the first real snowfall of the season—to catch Evalyn Parry’s tribute to cycling and feminism: Spin. Playing at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (where it premiered three years ago before its national tour), Spin is a multimedia performance that had me tapping my feet, dabbing my eyes and yearning for the chance to hop on a bike and change the world. Read the rest of this entry »

Cheap Theatre for the Week of November 18th, 2014

November 18th, 2014


It’s very easy, these days, to get buried in our devices and ignore the real human connections all around us. This week’s Cheap Theatre explores the different ways that we can connect with each other – electronically, yes, but often also with dancing, rousing folk music and awesome shows in pubs. All shows have tickets available for $25 or less – so go connect with the world with some Cheap Theatre!

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Review: You Have To Earn It (Alumnae Theatre)

November 18th, 2014


You Have to Earn It will have you “shaking in your seats” with laughter, at Toronto’s Alumnae Theatre


There are times when a comedy is too cheesy. The characters can be too loud, the plot too predictable, and the jokes too forced. That kind of play makes your stomach twist with embarrassment after every pause for a laugh. Lucky for me, Alumnae Theatre’s You Have To Earn It is the right kind of cheesy. The show is light-hearted and silly, but my cynical heart wasn’t overwhelmed by the positivity.

You Have To Earn It is a throwback to the screwball comedies of the 1930s and 40s. The homage to the old comedy style means there are hijinks, wacky misunderstandings, and some old fashioned sexism. The show stars Betty Parker who is the best costumer service receptionist her company has ever had, but even with all her hard work she can never seem to get promoted. Betty, played by Amy Swift, is tired of seeing coworkers like Joan, played by Jill Kooymans, get the job she deserves. Betty and her sassy friend Dorothy, Kathleen Jackson Allamby, gang up to see if their boss Mr. Brown, Paul Stafford, is cherry-picking employees because of their looks or if the women have really earned it.

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Play Listings for the Week of November 17th, 2014

November 17th, 2014


It’s started snowing. I don’t care what the technical start date of winter is, I’m officially declaring the fact that winter has come to Toronto. And I’m choosing to hide from it in our city’s many theatres – here’s a list of what’s playing in town this week if you’d like to do the same. Anything highlighted in red with two asterisks is highly recommended by our Editor, Mike.

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Review: Burying Toni (Alumnae Theatre Company)

November 16th, 2014


Natalie Kulesza, Glenda Roman and Jillian Welsh in Burying Toni

Toronto’s Alumnae Theatre presents Catherine Frid’s new play Burying Toni

Have you peeked in on your subconscious lately? Do you have any idea what your Animus and Shadow are up to? Well, why don’t you join us at King and Berkeley in Toronto?

We can climb the staircase of Alumnae Theatre and get all the facts straight while we take in the play Burying Toni by Catherine Frid.

Part of a one-two punch, Burying Toni and You Have To Earn It are two new plays by female playwrights that make up the Fireworks Festival.

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Review: Boxes Buried Deep (Convection Productions)

November 15th, 2014



Sage Tyrtle performs her one-woman show Boxes Buried Deep at Toronto’s Videofag

Boxes Buried Deep is Sage Tyrtle’s one-woman show: a real life fairy tale about how to discover and embrace your inner “crazy.” Her performance style is conversational and so the intimate Videofag venue is a great place to experience her. The audience is small enough, close enough, that she could put her arm around you as she weaves her tale. In fact, it felt as if her arm was around me the whole time. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Opera Luminata

November 14th, 2014



Opera Luminata defies opera stereotypes in its run at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre

Opera Luminata sets itself a challenge in its Toronto premiere at the Harbourfont Centre’s Fleck Dance Theatre: presenting opera not as an aloof and complicated performance trapped by formality, but rather as a musical and theatrical spectacle. The end result is to change the perception of opera as an art form by making it accessible, exciting, and new.

Such an ambitious goal presents interesting questions about the future of historical genres on the stage, and whether the performance status-quo needs to evolve to capture a new audience. For opera, specifically, what happens when we remove the context of the opera to focus solely on the individual moments of the whole? What does it mean if there is no need for context to listen to operatic songs? And, if opera becomes more accessible by removing the conventional structure, how do we reconcile the traditional with the new?

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Review: The Love Game (North of Maine)

November 14th, 2014


The Love Game

North of Maine presents The Love Game, a quirky romance playing at Toronto’s Red Sandcastle Theatre

I walked into the cozy Red Sandcastle Theatre on Tuesday night expecting to see another run-of-the-mill relationship drama. You know the type – they meet, they fall in love, they grow apart, there’s a conflict, they either resolve it or they don’t. What I actually saw was entirely different from what I was anticipating, however. North of Maine‘s The Love Game is anything but typical, and the environment they’ve created in the storefront theatre is anything but cozy. What The Love Game is is bold, creative, surprising and oddly compelling. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Buyer & Cellar (Mirvish)

November 14th, 2014



Mirvish presents the Off-Broadway comedy Buyer & Cellar starring Christopher J. Hanke in Toronto

There are two types of people in the world, those who love Barbara Streisand and those who don’t. Those in the former camp don’t just love Streisand, the LOVE her. Playwright Jonathan Tolins aims his one-man comedy Buyer & Cellar squarely at this group. For those of us in the other camp? Well, this show may not hold quite as much appeal. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: NSFW (Studio 180 Theatre)

November 13th, 2014



Studio 180 Theatre presents Lucy Kirkwood’s play NSFW at The Theatre Centre in Toronto

My companion for the evening and I agreed that the only problem with Studio 180’s production of NSFW was that it was just too real. By the end it was impossible for us to laugh at any of the humour because it was too sad, too personally affecting. This isn’t a criticism of the show; it’s praise for successfully portraying brutal truths about the depiction of women in mainstream media. Read the rest of this entry »